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Sunday, November 05, 2017

A Tribute to Africa's Christian Leaders

I've had the privilege of collaborating with African leaders from Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Liberia and have known many others from the far reaches of the continent. These leaders have made my life rich and have given me new insight into faith, family and ministry. From them I have learned joy, perseverance, creativity and so much more. But so many have not had that privilege of learning at the feet of African leaders.

That is why I'm so excited to share about African Christian Leadership, a new book based on an extensive study of Christian leadership in Africa. This new book gives a broad and realistic look at the challenges and opportunities facing Christian leaders through the study which was conducted in Kenya, Angola and the Central African Republic. The book is not a theoretical tretise but a practical lens on the data from the study. Chapters focus on topics such as the characteristics of influential leaders, the role of social capital for leaders, formation of Christian leaders, patters of influential Christian organizations, women in leadership and challenges for leaders.

The Africa Leadership Study, which developed the book, is a group of people from the continent and around the world who have come together to research leadership in Africa in an effort to build up the African Church and help outsiders to best support and encourage. I had the privilege of being a part of that team after the research part of the work was complete. As CEO of GMI, I (and my team) worked with the team to popularize the key findings by developing infographics, maps and other resources to help people engage with the study. You will find GMI's maps in the book and our other resources here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

I came away from my work on this project with a more complete and rich picture of the daily priorities, challenges and opportunities Christian leaders in Africa face. These simple and helpful insights into the African Church made me a better co-laborer with my African friends and I hope and pray it is helping African leaders to grow in their own leadership.

Particularly insightful were the trends in African Christian readership and publishing. Also the importance of mentoring for the future growth of leadership in Africa is worth mentioning. The study also did a great job of highlighting the role of lay leadership in the African Church.

Please take a moment to purchase this book for yourself and those who work in the area of leadership development in Africa. Also take some time on www.africaleadershipstudy.org to download resources, contribute to the dialogue and learn about the work that has been done.

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